Far away, far away, men making wars.
Other folk's blood spilt on other folk's floors.
Only this morning I wounded my finger:
a thorn on my rosebush pierced like a stinger.
Sucking that finger, I thought of the war.
Sad is the earth! And those people, so poor!
I'm of no help, being here and not there,
nor can I reach them, by sea or by air.
And what if I could what good could I do?
My Arabic's terrible! My English is, too!
What, should I stroll through the fields of the dead
leaving sheaves of my verses under each head?
No. Enough of this wretched irony-fest.
Let's put on a coat. The sun's low in the west.
Italian; trans. Geoffrey Brock
Franco Fortini, Italian, trans. Geoffrey Brock, Poetry Magazine, December, 2007, The Poetry Foundation.